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  • Writer's pictureJustin Stafford

Is the Third Time the Charm for Herbert's Dune?

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

Science fiction fans were in awe and fear as they heard Legendary Entertainment had acquired the film rights to Frank Herbert's science fiction odyssey Dune, in 2016. With it slated to start filming in March 2019 in Budapest. With multiple issues, and retakes needed Dune's progress was slowed to a crawl by a long post production. Was and Is the third time for Dune to be adapted for the screen worth it? Even when the previous two adaptations left many deserted in the desert. The 1984 adaptation of Dune, directed by David Lynch,

starred Kyle MacLachlan, rock n' roll hall of fame member Sting, and science fiction legend Sir Patrick Stewart. While the film made a tremendous impact on special effects of its time, it still was delivered in the wake of the original Star Wars trilogy. The film also received mixed reviews due to casting and the arrogant "chosen one" direction of the character Paul. While the film carried outstanding effects, its acting left the political dialog of Herbert's Dune cold. With the cold response to the 1984 film any thoughts of making any other film adaptation of the sci-fi novels would take 16 years. When the Syfy channel started airing the 4.5 hour TV mini series of Dune on December 3, 2000. Then was followed up with the 2003 mini series Children of Dune, starring a young James McAvoy. Even with these mini series achieving awards, they received harsh reviews because of the limited TV budgeted effects. With the last two adaptations of the sci-fi drama getting mixed reviews, how would the newest one stand up to the critics? Well at first many people saw the multitude of production issues and delays as an omen of bad things to come. Even with those nerves the film was met with hopeful ambition as it was released on October 22nd, on HBO Max and in theaters nationwide. Now released Dune quieted many harsh critics about if it would fall short like the others did. Many praise David Villeneuve, the film's director, as ushering in a new style of sci-fi film making. While others say the 2 and a half hour film cut off right when it got interesting. In my humble opinion the film and crew delivered on every promise made in their interviews. 

Dune delivers on Herbert's play of interstellar politics without a need for overpowered mythology and laser swords. The film takes the worst from its past adaptations and completely blends them together to make it stronger. Paul doesn't have the arrogant messiah complex like the 1984 film and the new film's budget allows for beautiful effects, unlike the 2000 mini series. With those two downfalls taken care of the new Dune film pushes the sci-fi genre even harder past mind binding and "lightsabers".  It's in my opinion that the 2021 adaptation is the science fiction film to watch this year. This film will engulf you in a science fiction drama completely different from anything you've seen before. With that passion placed in this film you will wait with heart pounding anticipation for the sequel to come as soon as possible.


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